Female..gravid? stressed? normal?

sarahog

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Female, Veiled, 12 months old
  • Handling - Rarely, when cleaning cage or when I move her to the shower, she will walk up to my hand and climb onto it from time to time.
  • Feeding - Crickets, supers, butterworms, silk worms. Mainly crickets. She eats 4 crickets a day, supers on occasion and other worms we just got in so she's had them only this past week. Crickets are gut loaded with kale, dandelion greens, mustard greens, swiss chard, oranges, and water crystals are in there at all times.
  • Supplements - Reptical NO d3 daily, Reptocal with d3 twice a month, Reptolife plus twice a month.
  • Watering - Misting 3 times a day about a min or 2 until cage is saturated, spritz all plants in between mistings. I see my Cham drink a sip or two but that's about it. Shower once a week 20 min. No orange in urate.
  • Fecal Description - Brown, firm..normal looking. Has not been tested for parasites before.
  • History - Have had issues keeping her hydrated but the showers seem to help, mist king is on order.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type -Screen. 4' tall, 2' wide and long.
  • Lighting - Repti glo 5.0 and 10.0 are alternated daily. 75watt full spectrum lighbulb (house bulb). Had a 100watt basking bulb in there until a few weeks ago when it warmed up. Come to think of it now I don't have a UVA light since I removed the basking lights! Will need to get one.
  • Temperature - Basking temp 88-90, floor temp 80-82. Lowest overnight 68. Measured with a digital thermometer, probe at basking spot, and thermometer at bottom. Also have a non digital therm. close to basking spot.
  • Humidity - Humidity is at 60% right now.
  • Plants - Live, zebra plant, big schefflera from top to bottom of cage.
  • Placement - Cage is off to the side of our living room, not near heating/air vents, not in high traffic areas, though my husband and I do walk around the room a bit.
  • Location - Southern CA, High desert.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.



Okay something is going on with my female...she's a bit "off". Around March 4th she showed signs of being gravid via color and she looked lumpy, she seemed to get big and lumpy but never went off food and never searched for a place to dig. Now I had a laying bin in there constantly but she did not lay in there and I put her in a laying bin for 2 days (big rubbermaid container) still nothing. Then I put her back in her cage and she seemed to get small again and not lumpy at all?? So confused by this. She MAY have layed in a plant as I did not dig up the plants to check. But now the past 3 days she is BIG like she swallowed a ball. She shows some gravid coloring from time to time. She was staying kind of dark for a few days before this and I thought that was weird so I kept making little changes to the cage, more misting, more light, less light..then finally redid all the plants in it and she got light and happy as can be seemingly. But now she is holding herself low to the branches. She moves about the cage (is staying closer to the top which is odd she's usually all over the place). She moves from side to side near the top of the cage and then finds a spot and holds herself close to the branch again. She is basking A LOT too, more than normal and the temps have not changed here. Any ideas as to what is going on with her? Still eating, still boogies over to her food cup excitedly. Also she is super on edge/grouchy lately. She usually walks right up to my hand and now she hisses when I put the food in and get too close to her. She also usually walks to the edge of a branch when she sees me and stares out the cage in anticipation of food...but not the past few days.
 
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sarahog

New Member
okay..

But what about holding her body close to the branches and not roaming her whole cage up and down as she usually does? Are those also normal for a gravid Cham? I'm worried something is wrong does anyone have insight they can offer here? Are my husbandry specs seeming good?
 

camimom

New Member
But what about holding her body close to the branches and not roaming her whole cage up and down as she usually does? Are those also normal for a gravid Cham? I'm worried something is wrong does anyone have insight they can offer here? Are my husbandry specs seeming good?
Sometimes chams just dont feel like cruising.
 

sarahog

New Member
Can she be stressed?

Is it normal for a Cham to hold it's body close to the branches? I tried researching everywhere but the only explanation I can find is stress. I'm just not sure what would be stressing her, does anyone have any idea based on my husbandry what could be the cause of stress? Are they in a state of stress when gravid? Is there any other reason she'd be grasping the branches and holding close to them almost like laying on them?
 

melric

Established Member
It sounds like she is either gravid, or she is hot. They will stay low when it's warm and it looks like your ground temps are warm too. Keep the temps at the bottom cooler in the 70's. You don't need a UVA light, a house bulb is fine. Why are you switching between 5.0 and 10.0 for UVB? You could save money by just using the 5.0 all the time.

Edit: Good idea ^^^^ photo's.
 

sarahog

New Member
I tried lowering the temps but she gets dark when I do so maybe she is just gravid and that's the cause of the closeness. I know you're supposed to keep females at lower temps but she gets super dark when I lower them and I tried to put a 65watt bulb in but then I came home one day and saw she suffered a thermal burn because she would not leave the light :( I put the 75 back in and she doesn't stay under it constantly.
 

sarahog

New Member
If she is in fact gravid when should I start to worry. Like I said she was lumpy March 3rd, she got huge and I was sure she'd lay any day. Then she got small again, I'm not sure if that is because all of a sudden we got some really cold weather here? Now she's big again but how long do I wait before I get worried if she doesn't start digging soon? Or searching for a place to dig.
 

melric

Established Member
It sounds like you have done a lot to accommodate her egg laying. I would take her to the vet for a check up and an x ray to see if she really is gravid. All I can think of now is to just get her to a reptile vet.
 

sarahog

New Member
Thank you Melric. I will search for one in my area tomorrow or find one somewhere else. I appreciate your input.
 
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